Some practices experience no-show rates as high as 50 percent. The impact on daily revenue is considerable, but allocating human staff to rectifying the problem can often cancel out the lost revenue. Organizations across the country are looking for tools to reduce this ongoing issue in nearly every patient population. By working with integrated platforms that can provide innovative solutions for appointment reminders and patient communication, organizations can reduce their no-show rates significantly without dedicating additional staff to the effort.
With the right tools, human capital is not necessary. Work with an integrated solution that pulls data from the scheduling system and can drop in changes and reschedules when necessary. By utilizing interfaces with an EMR or practice management system, changes made in the primary system will be automatically reflected in the appointment reminder tool, and changes made by patients or staff in the scheduled appointments can be pushed back seamlessly as well. Technology partners with existing integrations make it possible to implement solutions like this so that all of the data movement is done silently in the background while staff are not required to significantly change their workflow.
Reminders that go out to patients are the first step in ensuring patients are in the loop about their scheduled medical appointments, but a single reminder is rarely enough, and more than one method of contact should be required. People receive information through a number of different channels, and capitalizing on at least two of them reduces the chance of an avoidable no-show. Reminders can go out via text message, email, and phone. For patients that don’t have mobile phones or who have not provided that contact information, phone calls should be a requirement. The technology partner should be able to identify the type of number to ensure that the appropriate phone-based communication goes out without requiring a human to verify the information. By utilizing the phone number that is already present in the patient’s demographics, staff can be certain that patients will receive a reminder while the intelligent system does the remainder of the administrative work.
It can be easy to forget about something you have to do next week, so your solution should send out multiple reminders to catch patients when they are most likely to remember. Patients should receive initial confirmations and then follow up reminders at set intervals throughout the process. Three touches are more likely to ensure that the patient arrives for the visit, and the multiple platforms ensures that they receive the notification regardless of what tools they are looking at regularly.
The patient appointment reminder solution should also make it possible for the patient to include the appointment on their calendar with just a tap. They should provide the patient everything that they need to know with customized language for their appointment, and they should give the patient the ability to confirm. Engaging with the technology ensures that the patient is more likely to remember the visit.
If a physician sees 20 patients a day and experiences a 30 percent no show rate, the lost revenue over a year is substantial. If each of those missed visit represents a reduction in revenue of $60, the physician is losing $360 per day, $1800 per week and $90,000 over a 50-week year. That’s nearly $100,000 that the practice is losing for a single physician. By just solving half of that problem with a simple to use technology solution that requires little-to-no-manpower, practices can add $50,000 in revenue per physician. You can calculate your practice’s ROI with our ROI Calculator.
Empowering patients to review their own healthcare tools removes some of the burden from staff while still giving them the control over the internal schedule. Technology solutions that allow patients to confirm, reschedule or cancel appointments keep the phone lines clear for more pressing needs while still giving patients the access that the need for their own healthcare. These tools work with appointment reminders to reduce the rate of no-shows and provide appropriate notice for appointments that cannot be completed.
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